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  • Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

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    Old 07-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #1
    ChristineVA
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    Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    and I just have to get it off my chest. You guys are probably going to think much less of me.

    A few weeks ago, I had to call my internal med/endo doctor to get a lab order for a follow up thyroid test. I had the numbers done in May, along with a ferritin, and I was told to retest in July because I was overmedicated.

    So, in late June, I call the office. I get the receptionist and tell her that I am a patient of Dr. J, that I need a lab order for a few tests. She takes down the name of the tests I need (which I listed as TSH, Thyroglobulin, and Ferritin). She then tells me that the doctor is on vacation but she would see what she would do.

    Within 20 minutes, my doctor's lovely nurse calls me back. This nurse and I have a history. She constantly condescends to me, doesn't like to give me my "numbers", always just says "you are fine" and I have to draw everything out of her. She is very brusque. Although, in person she is always pleasant to me. After 10 years, we've come to a strange understanding.

    So, she calls me back and says "Why are you doing this now?" I explain that it was time. She says "You aren't supposed to be tested until mid-July." Fine, I say, I won't test until mid-July. I'm just trying to give YOU ample time to get the lab order prepared. Then she says "The doctor's notes say that you only need your thyroid function tested, why do you want a thyroglobulin." Now for those who are unfamiliar, the thyroglobulin test is a cancer marker test used for thyroid cancer patients. I am supposed to have one every 6 months. I have not had one for a year. My doctor "forgot" during my last visit. So I explain this to her, she reviews the file, and says "Well, okay, I guess I'll let you have that--the doctor is out of the country but I can set up your slip and stamp it but DO NOT get this done until mid-July."

    Now she was much more brusque about this than I am explaining. At this point, I really felt bullied and about 1 inch tall! I didn't even ASK about the ferritin because I figured she would flip her lid. But it was on my request.

    So yesterday, like a good little girl, on July 14th, I go get my lab order, bop on down to the lab, look at the slip, and see that the ferritin is not on it. Well, you know what I did right? I checked the box for ferritin. Darn it, I'm not having blood drawn by every doctor in the world. I should have to make a special appt. for this with another doctor. It is simple. It just ticked me off.

    But, I know she's going to YELL at me and I'm a nervous wreck. I shouldn't have done it, but I couldn't stop myself.

    Okay, I think I'm purged. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

     
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    Old 07-15-2008, 11:04 AM   #2
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Can I just say? I would have done the exact same thing, and I have even had these same thoughts the last time I had to truck on down to the lab with my own lab order in hand. I wanted to check CBCs, but I chickened out.

    However. Don't be surprised if the test isn't done because I think they either call the doctor or in my case, they look at a computer screen to verify the tests. They have to know that some patients can't be trusted (like us). So be prepared to play dumb. "I have NO idea how that box got checked".

    My husband has a really good doctor in the same office as my doctor and I would love to switch to her, but her nurse is such a "b" that I hesitate every time I consider it. Maybe once my doctor retires... I guess if I have the courage to check a box on the lab form, I have the courage to deal with a crabby nurse. Somehow, it's less scary to check the box!

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Christine--That is not oh so, so bad of a thing to do. I have to tell you that I have been close to that myself but never really did it. I have threatened many times. I really don't understand what the heck the BIG deal is over lab tests that are in the doctor's expertise anyway. My PCP said he will no longer run this test on me so he's FIRED!!!!!!

    The thing is, now you have to decide what your going to tell ~nurse brusque~ when she points this out to you. She will probably want to file a law suit on this one, just kidding!!!! You could just say they looked it up in the computer and got mixed up on the lab somehow????.....LOL.

    I have to tell you what my sister does. She told me one time that she doesn't have to see or call the doctor to get lab results and I asked how that works??? Well at the top of the lab requisition there is a box, I'm sure you know the one that says, to CC other docs on labs. Well, she writes a note to send an additional copy to her personal fax machine and gives the fax number. I almost died when she told me that. I just don't have those guts.

    I'm sure that you will get by with it once, so your lucky! I just wouldn't do it again. Just play stupid when you talk to her and tell her that she must have checked it off. In fact, she probably won't even remember what she did. My fingers are crossed. I think that it's great to be so proactive. FLFLOWERGIRL

    PS--forgot to say- keep us posted on your Ferritin results!

    Last edited by FLFLOWERGIRL; 07-15-2008 at 11:23 AM.

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 11:23 AM   #4
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Thanks you guys. I feel so awful for doing it.

    I have also thought about it many, many times and NEVER did. The only reason I did it this time is because I will never be going back there. My doctor (who treats my thyroid) is retiring in September and this is my last "round" with him before I transfer to another doctor. Had I thought I would have to face her or the doctor, I would have never done it. But, honestly, I don't know when I am going to get back to any doctor for treatment. It will probably be 4-5 months before I can get into my new endo and I refuse to make a special appointment with my GP just to get my flippin' ferritin checked.

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 11:38 AM   #5
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    i think i would have done the same thing. my neice works at my pcp office so when she gets my blood work she faxes it to me.i know she would get in trouble if the dr ever found out. it aint even her test there the hemotologists. my dr office never calls me (h) one so im not even making another appt. for now. im waiting for my yearly physical and seeing where my blood is before i call back.

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 11:53 AM   #6
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    The lab for the health system that I go to in the Greater Portland Area won't even send copies of reports that my GYNE ordered to my PCP who is in the same dang health system. Luckily, my records follow me, so my PCP can probably pull them up anyway, but it's just for peace of mind.

    I would be very surprised if your lab does the test and if it doesn't match the original request it will generate a phone call. At that point, Nurse Cranky Pants will have to make the decision or somehow got a hold of the doctor and ask him or read your chart and see that you do need to get the test. In that case, she's going to think "what quick thinking on my part" and probably take credit for it. But do let us know what the results are. And if you do get away with it, GOOD! You're my hero!

    Why on earth should a nurse care if you have these tests anyway? Nurses sometimes seem more threatened by patients' knowledge than doctors are.

    Last edited by ChickieLou; 07-15-2008 at 11:57 AM.

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 12:49 PM   #7
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    ChickieLou,

    I'm pretty sure that my doctor never calls into the lab ahead of time and there are not duplicate forms to cross check. They give me a slip that is their own and I can go to any lab I want. The slip is one they make up themselves in the office. They don't even make a copy of what they give me--the nurse or doctor just notes it in my file (I've watched the whole process). They do keep any phone messages from me, so there should be the message in my file where I called and asked the receptionist for TSH, thyroglobulin,and ferritin.

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 12:57 PM   #8
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Then you are set! If the lab does call Cranky Pants to verify the notes, she will likely just think it's her omission on the notes. Or I am hoping, anyway. A paranoid nurse like that probably does alot of "CYA" to cover her tracks. (Which in many ways is WAY worse than checking a box.)

    (conspiratorial laugh)

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 01:02 PM   #9
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    I will miss my doctor when he retires, but I will be so glad to be rid of her. She is efficient, but man, what a pain. I've had to deal with her for 10 years!!!

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 02:24 PM   #10
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Christine--My ENdo doc works exactly as you say. They fill out the original labs for 3 months and gives them to me ahead of time. They have no other copies but mine. The only time I have had the lab contact my doc was because there was no DX code on the form and they had to verify. I think you got away with it, now will the nurse give you those results, that is another story. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-15-2008, 06:49 PM   #11
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    My PCP always makes copies of med and test request. As far as you getting a copy of all your test, blood or anything else, you have the right under the HPAA law. Labs will ask you to sign something so that you can get a copy. I always get copies of all test including blood. With going to so many doctors, and each doctor reading the same test differently, it is a good idea to keep and take them to all your appointment. I do always ask my PCP to fax my blood work to my hematologist. I will give you an example, my PCP feels ferritin level at 10 which is the very bottom of the range is good. My hematologist has me in the next week for IV iron. He says anything under 50 needs to be treated. I have only been over 60 three times over the past 4 years and that was right after my iron infusion.

    The only reason I think doctors don't like writing order for blood test is because they get reviewed by the insurance companies.

     
    Old 07-16-2008, 03:39 PM   #12
    ChristineVA
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    I got my results back this afternoon. YAY!!! They didn't seem to notice and I didn't get yelled at.

    The even better news is that my ferritin went up to 35. The highest it has ever been. At that was done on the very last day of my period. Feeling MUCH better now.

     
    Old 07-16-2008, 04:04 PM   #13
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Christine--Glad that you didn't get in yelled at. That's really good news, congrats, 35 is definitely heading in the right direction. If our doctor's could hear us on this board, what would they think??? Glad you got good results. FLFLOWERGIRL

     
    Old 07-16-2008, 04:21 PM   #14
    ChickieLou
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    Fantastic news! You rebel, you!


     
    Old 07-23-2008, 10:07 AM   #15
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    Re: Yikes! I Did Something Very Bad Yesterday

    I don't blame you, I've done stuff like that too.....
    but I've heard that doing stuff like that is looked at by the law, the same as forging a prescription......

     
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